Ulster Unionist West Tyrone candidate, Alicia Clarke has called on the next Government to re-examine the decision to no longer give child tax credits to new claimants for more than two children in a family.

Alicia Clarke said:

“The steps taken by the last Government undoubtedly penalise larger families. It simply does not make sense for a family to receive tax credits for their first and second child, but not their third.

“When these changes were first brought forward they were opposed in Parliament by my Ulster Unionist colleagues, Danny Kinahan and Tom Elliott. Unfortunately, despite strong opposition the proposals were passed.

“If a child is conceived as a result of rape or coercion, then families still can receive tax credits for more than two children, however this will require the mother providing information to the HMRC that she has been raped. This puts rape victims in an incredibly difficult position, and has the potential to re-traumatise those who have fallen victim to sexual crime.

“Clearly those that designed the policy did not appropriately consider the potential impact this will have on women. Locally, I have been inundated with concern about this situation by women’s groups and I can certainly understand why.

“If elected, I will make it my priority to place pressure on the Government to reverse this unfair policy.

“This can only be done if we have an MP for West Tyrone who is prepared to take their seat and stand up for their constituents.”

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